For the past few years, the Creston Fire Department has participated in the American Lung Association Fight for Air Climb in Des Moines. The Creston Fire Department will be participating in the climb again in April 2013.
The Fight for Air Climb usually takes place in skyscrapers, stadiums or arenas, and involves climbing multiple steps. Three buildings in Des Moines are being used for the 2013 event. Those buildings include:
• EMC Insurance Companies, 16 floors.
• Hub Tower, 19 floors.
• Des Moines Marriott Downtown, 32 floors.
“You can climb one, two or all three of the buildings individually,” said Lee Freeman, Creston firefighter. “Or, you can do all three buildings as a team. We will probably have seven firefighters going.”
The firefighters do the climb in full gear, with an air pack on. However, the event is open to anyone who wishes to participate. All of the money that is fundraised by the participants goes to the American Lung Association, where 87 percent goes to program services, 10 percent to general and management, and 3 percent to fundraising.
Some of the statistics behind why the American Lung Association puts on the Fight for Air Climb include:
• Six out of 10 people live in areas where air pollution reaches unhealthy levels and threatens the health of many people.
• Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the third leading cause of death in the United States.
• Asthma is a leading cause of missed school days.
In order to participate in the Fight for Air Climb, each participant must pay a registration fee of $15 before Jan. 31, 2013, and $25 after. They also have to have at least $100 fundraised, which the registration fee contributes to.
In order to raise funds, the Creston Fire Department is putting on a 5K run, 5K walk and a firefighters one mile walk.
“These three things are open to anyone,” said Freeman. “The one mile walk is for fire fighters to do in full gear, but everyone can participate in it, as well. This is the first year we have done this, and if it is successful, we will try to make it an annual deal.”
The 5K run and walk will start at 8:30 a.m. Nov. 10 at McKinley Park. Entry forms are available on the Creston Fire Department website, crestonfirerescue.org, and on the Southern Prairie YMCA’s Facebook page. The entry fee is $15 if you register before Nov. 1, and $20 after. Also, registering before Nov. 1 guarantees a T-shirt.
The Creston Fire Department is also looking for volunteers and searching for new recruits.
For more information about the 5K run and walk, contact Freeman at the Creston Fire Department, 641-782-5610.